I shared a Taco Date Night party on the blog yesterday and today I’m diving into the recipes. I’ve noticed Mexican street corn popping up on lots of restaurant menus near me lately (in particular, the street corn at Painted Burro makes me SO happy) and I wanted to try to recreate the idea at home. It was super.duper.simple. In warmer weather I would have grilled the corn on the porch, but in these wintry cold temperatures, I just charred the corn in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. While the corn is cooking, I made a chipotle lime aioli. Whisk together in a small bowl 1/4 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of mayonnaise, 1 to 2 teaspoons of chipotle adobe sauce (depending on your affinity for spice!) and the juice of one lime. When it comes off the pan, sprinkle the corn with chili powder, a little sea salt,  drizzle it with the aioli, and then top it with cotija cheese. YUM!aDSC_0065aDSC_0057

To help you recreate this party look at home, Hattie Sparks has a special offer for my readers: 20% OFF your online purchase with the code DOMESTIKATE today through Monday 3/17 – happy shopping!

Please note: I was gifted some of the materials used in this post. All opinions and recipes are my own. 

I was searching for some appetizer inspiration recently and came across this amazing recipe from Kinfolk magazine — I wanted to try it but it wasn’t exactly fitting my bite-sized criteria for serving snacks when I had friends over. I loved the idea of having something a little heartier to serve though, so I used the recipe for inspiration and made my own mac and chili mixture and baked in a mini-muffin tin for bite-sized tastes. They flew off the plate when my friends tested them over the weekend! Full recipe below. 1photo 4 (1) 2DSC_0039 3DSC_0041 3DSC_0042 4DSC_0043 5DSC_0052 6DSC_0051Ingredients:

  • Red bell pepper – 1/4 cup minced
  • Yellow onion – 1/4 cup minced
  • 1 Clove of garlic
  • 1 small tomato- 1/4 cup minced
  • Scallions or chives – about 3 tablespoons chopped
  • Lean ground beef  – about 1/4-pound
  • Kidney beans
  • One bag of orichette pasta
  • 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Flour
  • Butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a skillet, heat a small amount of oil or butter and cook red pepper, yellow onion, garlic, and tomato for about 3-4 minutes, until they begin to get soft. Next, add in ground beef, and brown in mixture. When meat is browned, add in about a half a can of red kidney beans and the chives, heat through and then remove pan and set aside.

While making the chili mixture,  cook pasta to al dente.  Next, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a pan, and add 3 tablespoons of flour, whisk together. Next, add milk, and continue to whisk together over the heat until it begins to thicken. Next, slowly add in grated sharp cheddar cheese and continue to mix sauce until smooth. When all of the sauce is incorporated and smooth, pour it over the orichette in a large pot or bowl. Fold in all of the sauce and pasta, and then add in the chili mixture.

Scoop mac and chili mixture into a mini-muffin tin. Using the back of a spoon, pack the mixture into the tin so that the ingredients are compressed together. When the muffin tin is full, sprinkle more grated cheese over the top (I used some Parmesan here for extra flavor), and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let them rest and cool slightly before removing from the pan (this is important, they may not hold their shape if you remove them when they first come out of the oven). I served them in mini-muffin liners for a festive touch!

 

I love watching the Oscars, tweeting about the gowns, making my guesses for each category — but somehow, me, the entertaining-addict, has never thrown an Oscars party. This year, I’m breaking that streak and having a few friends over for a casual little viewing gathering. As no party is complete without a signature cocktail, I thought I’d experiment with one to make this weekend for sipping during the show. I’m calling my creation the “Golden Statue” for it’s pretty color and a nod to Oscar himself. Here’s how you can make one of your own: In a small pitcher combine one cup of tangerine juice, one-quarter cup of Royal Rose apricot simple syrup, and one-quarter cup of vodka. Stir it together well and divide into four flutes. Then fill the remainder of the flute to the top with chilled prosecco and serve! I made Oscar straws for a festive touch too! aphoto 1 (6)aDSC_0007aDSC_0002aDSC_0005

I got a few questions on the bourbon-soaked cherries that were featured in the Ladies Winter Whiskey Party over on Style Me Pretty this week, so I thought I’d share the recipe! Fill a mason jar with cherries, add in 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar, fill 3/4 of the way with bourbon, and then top the rest off with some water. I let mine rest for about a week before using them, and they were a tasty garnish to our Ladies Manhattan cocktails and paired perfectly with the bourbon-caramel drizzled chocolate cake we had for dessert! Plus I picked up a few small corked jars (these cute ones from Target!) and made mini-versions that everyone could take home at the end of the event — I heard after that made a great topping at home on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream, yum! UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_036UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_057Photos by Brian Samuels Photography

I have the delicious drink recipes from our Ladies Whiskey Party to share with you today! One of my favorite details from this day  was the incorporation of the recipes into the event — I wrote the ingredients out on brown paper bags and tied them on whiskey bottles to match each drink so it was easy to identify each one. And because the idea of the party was all about sharing these whiskey drinks and making whiskey drinking a bit more approachable, we gave everyone a stack of recipe cards with the ingredients and instructions written out on them so they can recreate them at home. Now, onto those recipes!

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_003aClassic Whiskey Smash

  •  Half a lemon, cut into wedges
  • 6 mint leaves
  • .75 oz simple syrup
  • 2 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

In a shaker, muddle lemon wedges with mint leaves and simple syrup. Add ice and bourbon, shake vigorously. Strain over crushed ice and garnish with a tall mint leaf.

UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_093aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_074The Ladies Manhattan

  •  2 oz Michter’s Rye
  • .75 oz Dolin sweet vermouth
  • .25 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur
  • 2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
  • Cherry garnish

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass, cherry garnish.

aUrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_097 UrbanGrape_StyleMePretty Whiskey Party_Jan2014_087The Bee Keeper Punch

  •  1.5 bottles Overholt Rye
  • 16-18 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 25 dashes bitters
  • 2 cups honey spice simple syrup (go slowly to taste)
  • 1 bottle inexpensive Prosecco

Combine first four ingredients and chill for several hours. Before serving add Prosecco. Serve over rocks with a twist of lemon.  (To make simple syrup: 16 oz clover honey, 16 oz water, 1/4 cup mulling spices. Bring all ingredients to boil, turn off heat. Steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain the ingredients and cool the syrup.)

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Cocktail Recipes, Ingredients, and Event Space: The Urban Grape, Photography: Brian Samuels, Vintage Glassware: Farm & Fable

On my day off on Monday my husband suggested I try making homemade hummus — we buy it all the time and word on the street is that it’s pretty simple to make, so I gave it a whirl! I used Ina Garten’s recipe as a base (because she’s fabulous and I always trust her recipes!) and made a few modifications. First, I added a bit more garlic, an extra large clove, because adding more garlic is pretty much always my way life. Next, I reduced the tahini paste — it has a strong flavor, and I added in a little bit of the recommended 1/3 cup at a time, I probably only ended up using 1/4 cup in my version. After I blended all of the ingredients, I used a spatula to scrape it out into a serving dish and topped it with a few toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of good olive oil (for no other reason than that I’ve seen it done at restaurants, and I think it looks pretty!).  The verdict? It really is as easy it sounds — you just throw it all in a food processor and blend. Now that I know that, I’m brainstorming more flavors to try!

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Lately I have been following along with Brottle, a  year-long bottled cocktail project, that posts a new bottled cocktail recipe everyday on their instagram account. They post videos with step by step instructions of the recipes on YouTube too, and I’ve watched just about every one — they’re so cute, and the recipes are quick and easy. It’s an idea I can get behind, mix up a bigger batch to keep on your bar cart while entertaining, or bring it along with you as a little hostess gift to a party. And because everything is pre-mixed into one bottle, it makes those cocktail refills a little faster too! So after seeing their greyhound recipe last week, I decided it was time to join in on the fun and make one myself. I switched up the recipe and made my greyhound with 8oz of gin instead of vodka, and  mixed it with 19oz of fresh grapefruit juice. Then once it was time to serve, I poured it over ice and garnished it with a fresh spring of thyme leaves. It was tasty — and now I have a little cocktail waiting for me in the fridge after work tomorrow too!

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I mentioned earlier this week that my weekend was a bit of a carb-fest. One of the highlights of my breaded-binge was making homemade popovers and strawberry butter. It’s sort of a family tradition to make these delicious egg-y pastries. When my sister and I were kids, my mom and aunts would take us to have lunch at Neiman Marcus, and the popovers were always a highlight of the meal. So when they visited this weekend I broke out the Neiman Marcus Cookbook and whipped up a batch. The strawberry butter is the best part, it’s just strawberry jam and butter whipped together, but for some reason it tastes absolutely amazing — I want to put it on everything! ADSC_0067ASC_0060ADSC_0058ADSC_0066ADSC_0068ADSC_0063

I am not feeling so hot this week, I’ve come down with a pretty terrible cold and just can’t seem to bounce back! So I made it my mission last night to get on the road to recovery with a pot of homemade soup. I took a stab at a tortellini soup I saw in the most recent issue of Food Network magazine and made a few modification like adding in chopped onions and extra garlic to the recipe (and omitting the water they suggested). And it was just want the doctor ordered, a totally delicious soup can do wonders. Find the full recipe here.

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Guys, it’s hump day — and no one likes hump day — let alone the first one after the holidays, so I saved this recipe from a few weeks ago that’s completely focused on butter to make you feel better. One of the nicest presents I received for Christmas this year was from my grandparents and uncle; they got me a bunch of artisanal pasta and olive oils from a local pasta shop in my hometown. Clearly my family knows me well, carbs are my first love.

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When it came time to test out one of those pastas I wanted to make it a super special dinner, so in addition to working on a nice sauce and some homemade meatballs, I got a fresh loaf of Italian bread and decided to whip up a special herbed butter to go with it. I roasted a whole head of garlic for about an hour in a  small dish with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then once the garlic was cooked and soft, I used the food processor to combine the cloves with a 3 tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of fresh grated parmesan cheese, a teaspoon of chopped rosemary, and a teaspoon of chopped thyme, plus a little more salt and pepper. The result was a sweet roasted garlic and herb-y butter spread that went perfectly with the little Italian feast I prepared!

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